SDG AWARENESS: Dapera Primary school and community in Panguna with the SDG Champions during the SDG awareness in Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville. PHOTO: Kim Allen/ UNDP (PNG).
Three elite Papua New Guinea athetes have achieved great success on their first mission to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in communities and schools in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB).
The athletes, who were recently appointed as SDG Champions visited the island region on a four-day trip from July 27 to 31. They were warmly welcomed by staff and students at Hutjena Secondary School in Buka and three primary schools in Arawa and also by the rugby community.
The SDG Champions, which included former Papua New Guinea Cricket Captain, Christopher Amini, Shooter, Tania Mairi Mahuru and PNG Netball Captain, Lua Rikis, also attended the Bougainville Community Rugby Festival. They were accompanied by 10 rugby captains from the Bougainville Rugby Union Club (BRUC) in a joint mission to raise awareness on the SDGs.
"This is the first time for us to come out of Port Moresby to share our experience in sports and advocate on the SDGs.
“I have learnt from this trip that there is a lot of work and awareness that has to be done in our country on the SDGs to improve our own people, students and youths in communities in the rural areas.
“We shared our experience among youths to help them build good characters and values," Amini said.
SPORTS SUPPORT: Former PNG Cricket Captain and SDG Ambassador for Goal 4: Quality Education, Christoper Amini with Gogohe Marist Under-20s men’s division team. PHOTO: Kim Allen/ UNDP (PNG).
Fellow SDG Champion, Rikis, said: "As sports people, we have the potential to influence a lot of people, not just our own families but in communities too.
“We have the responsibility to raise awareness on the Sustainable Development Goals that affect all of us.
“This is my way of giving back to the community and be involved in the SDGs."
The 10 rugby captains from the Bougainville Rugby Union recieved training from the SDG Champions in Arawa. This is to support them to carry on the awareness in the schools and communities as part of an initiative to advocate for peace, prosperity and sustainable development in the region.
“We are thankful to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and UNDP for their support in bringing the PNG athletes to speak to us.
“This is a huge step forward for us and we will continue from now on to reach out in our awareness programmes in the region," said Bougainville Rugby Development Manager, Kelly Havara.
SCHOOL AWARENESS: PNG Shooter, Tania Mairi Mahuru speaks to Grade 10 students of Hutjena Secoundary School about Gender Equality. PHOTO: Kim Allen/ UNDP (PNG).
UNDP Governance Analyst, Kia Henry Nema said UNDP is greatful for its ongoing partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government that supported the Community Rugby Festival in Arawa.
“It brought young people from North, South and Central Bougaivnille together and showcased lots of raw rugby talent.
“We’re also thankful to the PNG Olympic Committee for working with us to make the SDG Champions available,” Nema said.
The SDG awareness programme is supported by UNDP’s Peace Building Fund, through its partnership with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the PNG Olympic Committee.
The SDGs outline 17 Goals with 169 targets to be achieved in the next 15 years and build on the Millennium Development Goals that ended in 2015.
PNG is one of 192 Member States of the United Nations that adopted the SDGs in 2015.